THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute

 
THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

THE TECH DIVIDE
CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS
DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA

INDUSTRY AND
EMPLOYMENT

A representative study in nine countries,
January 2019

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THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

                  Content

                  Executive Summary					 3

                  Degree of digitisation
                  on an international level				 4

                  Effects of digitisation on
                  the labour market				        10

                  Effects of digitisation on
                  educational needs            26

                  Study Design					            38

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THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

Executive
Summary
The economic world is changing with unheard of im-           of the Swedish share this opinion. Education is conside-
pact and speed. How do people from different conti-          red key to overcoming many challenges. More than half
nents view this development? Do they consider their          of respondents state that personal digital skills must be
country’s reaction appropriate? How important is             improved.
education in this matter – both at work and outside
of it? The latest study ‘The Tech Divide – Industries           Asian employers grant their staff considerably more
and Employment’ offers answers to these questions.           time to improve their digital skills than employers in
It is the second of the Vodafone Institute’s techno-         Europe and the USA: 40 percent of the Chinese can
logy acceptance publications, for which the polling          spend between one and five hours per week of their
organisation, Ipsos, surveyed 9000 people, as well           working time for training and 23 percent even more than
as chosen experts, from nine countries. It is one of         five hours. In the United Kingdom, these figures are
the first intercontinental studies on the acceptance         only 12 and 5 percent, respectively. In general, Euro-
of digitisation.                                             peans do not consider their employers as digitally
                                                             advanced. Furthermore, training opportunities are con-
  In international comparison, the degree of digitisation    sidered scarce compared to the USA, China and India.
and the use of new technologies is considered most
advanced in the USA, China and Sweden. Here,                   The willingness to improve skills in one’s leisure
success stories of well-known Silicon Valley companies       time is also far greater in Asia. 50 percent of respon-
and leading Chinese businesses, respectively, play an        dents in China and India are ready to spend between
important part. Sweden’s Spotify is one of the few dis-      one and five hours per week on improving personal
ruptive European enterprises. The country‘s extensive        digital skills; 20 percent would invest even more time. In
digitisation since the late 90s, especially as a result of   Sweden for example, these figures are 26 percent and
of the ‘PC reform’, has added to a positive impression       6 percent, respectively. Two-thirds of respondents state
of digitisation there. In other countries, comparable        that lifelong learning will be a necessity in the future.
success stories receive less attention. Over 50 percent
of respondents in Germany, India, Bulgaria and Italy           Online courses are used more frequently in Asia
think that there are not enough skilled professionals in     than the USA and Europe. Over one-third of respon-
the field of digitisation. Of the countries tested, India    dents in China and India opt for them. This trend can be
is considered the least digitised – although Indians         explained by the large absence of traditional education
themselves consider their country more advanced than         institutions along with a generally greater openness
Europe and China.                                            towards new technologies in these countries.

  A majority of respondents are concerned about possi-         Further quantitative results of the study can be found
ble job losses due to digitisation. This worry is wide-      at www.vodafone-institut.de
spread in the United Kingdom (70 percent), Germany
(65 percent) and the USA (66 percent). On the other
hand, in Asia digitisation has in fact created new jobs.

  The shortage of skilled workers is seen as a glo-
bal problem. However, the degree of demand varies
strongly in different countries: in China and Germany
the shortage is felt most deeply, as over 50 percent
of respondents state that there are not enough skilled
professionals in the digitisation sector. Only 31 percent

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THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

Degree of
digitisation
on an inter-
national level

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THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

   “People are exposed
   to applications instead of innovations. We are merely using others’ technolo-
   gy, such as phones (…), instead of developing our own innovations. Perso-
   nally, I think propaganda has played a part.”

   INDUSTRY EXPERT, DIGITAL EDUCATION, CHINA

In this chapter, we will first explore how people evaluate       tion: few say that their home country is lagging behind. In
the degree of digitisation in their home countries. There        these two cases, different experiences drive these diffe-
are considerable differences between countries. More             ring perceptions. Sweden was one of the first countries to
importantly, there are substantial disparities between peo-      welcome digitisation in their society. This is exemplified
ples’ perception of technological progress in their home         by the home PC reform in 1998, which made PCs more
countries and reality. Deeper cultural differences between       cheaply available to citizens. Being highly digitised has
countries, greater acceptance of technological change,           become an integral part of Swedish life. Likewise, though
a country’s level of development and the strength of the         China has only recently adapted to digitisation and new
transformation experienced there in recent years, as well        technologies, it has done so exceptionally quickly. The
as local political and institutional contexts, may influence     Chinese experience of digitisation has been one which
respondents’ judgement. Second, we examine people’s              highlighted its convenience rather than its challenges.
views of technological development in other countries.           Nevertheless, the speed at which life is changing poses
Here, too, we identified dissimilarities.                        new challenges, e.g., in the labour market.

Germans feel that their                                            US respondents are unsure where their country stands

country is lagging behind.                                       compared to others, or whether it’s lagging behind. While
                                                                 33% of respondents feel that the US can compete inter-
                                                                 nationally, an equal percentage disagree. Furthermore,
Nearly two thirds estimate that Germany is lagging behind        a total of 34% of US respondents were not able to give
the digitisation level of other countries. Large differences     a clear tendency, that is, they responded ‘don’t know’ or
arise among respondents concerning their perceptions of          ‘neither agree nor disagree’). This reveals that there is not
digital development levels. Comparisons are often made           only a lack of knowledge, but also very opposing views in
based on media coverage, as well as the presence of              the US on the level of digitisation in other countries, and
well-known IT and social media companies which respon-           where the US stands comparatively.
dents can relate to. The majority of German (59%), Indian
(57%), Bulgarian (55%) and Italian (54%) respondents say           The evaluation of the degree of digitisation is based on
that their country is lagging behind the digitisation level of   the perceptions of respondents. To understand how much
other countries (Fig. 1, next page). While Germany’s per-        perception matches reality, it is necessary to examine the
ception is primarily driven by a rather pessimistic media        actual degree of digitisation. As a benchmark, we employ-
discourse which says that the country needs to catch up,         ed the Network Readiness Index 2016 of the World Eco-
India’s perception is based on a different digitisation start-   nomic Forum which measures, on a scale from 1 (worst) to
ing point: while other countries have been digitising for        7 (best), the performance of 139 economies in leveraging
years, in India, one of the most populous countries in the       information and communications technologies to boost
world, digitisation is a relatively new concept. In contrast,    competitiveness, innovation and well-being.1
respondents from China (27%) and Sweden (16%) agree
least that their countries were behind in terms of digitisa-     1 https://widgets.weforum.org/gitr2016/. Date accessed: 26.10.2018.

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THE TECH DIVIDE - INDUSTRY AND EMPLOYMENT - CONTRASTING ATTITUDES TOWARDS DIGITISATION IN EUROPE, ASIA AND THE USA - Vodafone Institute
THE TECH DIVIDE

“I think we are most progressive in
 creating composite services —
Spotify is a good example, Klarna
 another, Swish a third. These are
 services that require an infrastructure,
 high internet capabilities and a
 highly connected population, so you
 can build services on top of it all.”
GOVERNMENT EXPERT, ECONOMIST, SWEDEN

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THE TECH DIVIDE

  Data for the US exemplifies the gap that can exist bet-                                     The US and China are most
ween citizens’ perceptions and reality. While US citizens
are not so sure about their country’s level of digitisation,                                  progressive in terms of
the US ranks 5th highest on the index. In contrast, Chinese                                   digitisation.
respondents’ perceptions may be driven by deliberate
efforts to boost the population’s confidence in digitisation.                                   When comparing degrees of digitisation, it is no surprise
Out of 139 economies, China ranks 75th. However, as                                           that the US is perceived as a leader (Fig. 2, next page).
detailed by our research in 2018, only 27% of the respon-                                     The entrepreneurial culture present there, as well as the
dents see their country as lagging behind the digital level                                   high speed of innovation fostered in Silicon Valley and by
of other countries.                                                                           the ‘Big 5’ (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and

      “We have good tech
      minds. But they don’t know how to sell their ideas. They can’t find the right
      investments that would help them pitch their ideas and make it big. (…) In
      addition, we create a lot of apps which are a copy of something that has al-
      ready been made. We lack original ideas right now.” SOCIAL SCIENTIST, INDIA

Degree of digitisation – Germany’s pessimism
My country is lagging behind the digitisation level of other countries.
To what extent do you agree with the above statement?

GER                                                     59                                                               21                        12                     8
IND                                                   57                                                                23                              19                1
BGR                                                 55                                                                24                            17                    3
IT                                                 54                                                                  29                               14                4
USA                                33                                              25                                               33                                    9
UK                                 33                                                   33                                               25                               10
ESP                           28                                                          45                                                  17                          10
CHN                          27                                            28                                                        44                                   1
SWE                 16                                 25                                                        45                                                       13

             Fully / tend to agree                            Neither agree                                   Tend to disagree /                             Don’t know
                                                              nor disagree                                    do not agree at all
Fig. 1: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percent.

                                                                                                                                                                               7
THE TECH DIVIDE

Microsoft), are familiar to respondents. Furthermore, there                                ranked itself lowest on an international comparison. This
are hardly any European counterparts demonstrating                                         low level of confidence is not only driven by an Italian
digital entrepreneurship as visibly.                                                       tendency to be more pessimistic, but also by critical
                                                                                           media coverage concerning digitisation. Digitisation is not
   Notably, it is not the US which views itself as most                                    well-promoted by public actors. Neither media, institutions
progressive internationally, but Sweden. Sweden has the                                    nor the government communicate a prominent desire to
highest confidence in its level of digitisation compared                                   promote digitisation.
to other countries. This is potentially based on examples
of such successful and innovative companies as Spotify                                       India stands out because of the strong divide which
or Klarna and a government which embraced digitisa-                                        exists between its self-perception and the perception
tion at an early stage (e.g., the home PC reform in 1998).                                 others have of it. Though each other country sees itself as
Sweden is thus home to two of the most visible European                                    more digitised than India, Indian respondents believe that
unicorns in the B2C market.                                                                their country is more digitised than China or the average
                                                                                           European country. In most other countries, India is still
  While the US is defined as the leader in technology in                                   viewed as a “third world country” and international media
general, China is viewed as an almost threatening com-                                     mostly focuses on poor living conditions and infrastructure
petitor which could soon takeover. China’s image is that of                                there, rather than on its IT elite and the technological pro-
a country with a fast-growing population that adopts new                                   gress it has sustained in the last few years. Indian experts
technologies quickly.                                                                      state that a lack of reputation contributes to perceptions of
                                                                                           India’s innovative power (see the next chapter for details).
  In Europe, with the exception of Sweden, confidence
in each country’s digital ability is a little dampened. Italy

The USA, Sweden, and China are considered digital leaders.
How do you assess the degree of digitisation or the use of new technologies in your country compared to other
regions or countries? Degree of digitisation compared to ...

              ... the average in Europe                                ... the USA                              ... China              ... India

7   SWE                                                   56                                     35                             19                         57
5   USA                                     29                                                                              7                        45
75 CHN                              13                                         -12                                                                              65
20 UK                               14                                        -14                                -20                                 43
88 IND                               1                                         -11                                          7
34 ESP                      -20                                 -42                                       -32                                         48
13 GER                         0                                       -28                               -37                            12
72 BGR                -29                                   -50                                   -50                                           25
41 IT           -40                                   -62                                          -48                                   15

                                                                                     Rank in “The Network Readiness Index“           advanced         not advanced

Fig. 2: Scale from 1 ‘very advanced’ to 5 ‘not advanced at all’. Top2 vs. Bottom2. Figures in percent.

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THE TECH DIVIDE

“We are
very open to new technology,
such as high-speed rail. The
direct impact on your daily life
is very strong.”

GOVERNMENT EXPERT,
CONSULTANT E-GOVERNANCE, CHINA

“If you think about it,
six months into the new government, the only words we have heard about
digitisation have been vague and there is no real plan for the digitisation of
the country. So, if from the media, politicians and schools we do not receive
any clear information, or even an idea of what we want to do, it is clear that
citizens’ perceptions are affected.”
GOVERNMENT EXPERT, CONSULTANT, ITALY

    Key Takeaways

Degree of digitisation
on an international level
More than every second respondent in Germany,             In our international comparison, the degree of di-
India, Bulgaria and Italy says that their country is    gitisation or use of new technologies is rated most
lagging behind the digitisation level of other count-   progressive in the US and China. While the Chinese
ries. Perception does not always match reality.         also see their country as progressive, US respon-
The actual level of ‘connectedness’ varies greatly      dents are not so sure. This difference might be the
between these countries.                                result of China’s strategy to position itself as leader
                                                        in digitisation.

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THE TECH DIVIDE

Effects of
digitisation
on the labour
market

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THE TECH DIVIDE

   “We are in the midst
   of a middle-income trap now. We have to get out of the trap, and at the same
   time fight the trade war [between China and the US]. And we are dragged
   into the inevitable war between powerful rising nations. Our sense of
   insecurity is very obvious.” GOVERNMENT EXPERT, CONSULTANT E-GOVERNANCE, CHINA

In this part of the report, we first look at labour shortages.   a cultural mindset that focuses on constantly striving for
The digital economy requires a specialised and highly            more. Whereas Germany is facing demographic change
trained workforce. Our data shows that a lack of skilled         and alarming media reports on the quality of education
professionals, who could bolster digital economies, is an        and lack of professionals, China has a general feeling of
issue in most markets. Demographic pressures, the quali-         insecurity, induced by economic backlashes resulting
ty of education and levels of educational attainment differ      from the current trade war between the US and China.
across countries and impact people’s perceptions of the
technological savviness of existing work forces and future         Uncertainty and lack of awareness shape perceptions
industry needs. Whether respondents believe that com-            in other markets. For example, in Bulgaria 40% of respon-
panies can keep up with the unfolding changes will also          dents agree or tend to agree that there is a lack of pro-
be investigated briefly. The negative view of European           fessionals, while 33% disagree. Furthermore, in countries
competitiveness is a source of concern in this context.          such as Spain, the UK or even the US and Sweden, many
                                                                 respond ‘don’t know’ or ‘neither agree nor disagree’. The
  Second, we take a closer look at people’s fears when it        shortage of skilled professionals, an issue relevant in all
comes to technological change. Disruptive technologies           countries investigated, is not necessarily a societally pre-
always pose a challenge. Digitalisation fundamentally            valent concern. This might be the result of several factors:
alters the way we produce and consume goods and ser-
vices. While in some countries this may be perceived as a        – Unclear media coverage;
chance for creativity and innovation, in other societies this    – Unclear understanding of skills required in the field of
change might be perceived as a threat to an established            digitisation, i.e., respondents might only think of IT or
order. A number of respondents feel that technological             programming skills;
development will be accompanied by job insecurity and            – Low awareness of digitisation in general, and, as a con-
even unemployment. Notably, this perception is also sha-           sequence, the lack of professionals.
red among highly skilled employees.
                                                                    It appears that a country’s digitisation progress is not
                                                                 necessarily linked to a perceived lack of professionals in
Germans and the Chinese                                          the country (Fig. 3). Respondents do not see the labour

agree that there is a shortage                                   and skills shortage of digital professionals and the inability
                                                                 to fill positions in that field because of a lack of qualificati-
of digital talent.                                               ons as a hindrance to the progress of digitisation. A case
                                                                 in point is China, where respondents rate the country’s de-
More than 50% say there are not enough digitisation              gree of digitisation relative to other countries very highly.
professionals. The availability of professionals in the field    Nevertheless, about half of Chinese respondents think that
of digitisation differs by country. For both China (53%) and     there are not enough professionals in the field of digitisa-
Germany (52%), estimations of the skilled worker shortage        tion. However, Sweden is an exception: they estimate their
are highest (Fig. 3). Both countries are characterised by        level of digitisation very highly and do not say that they

                                                                                                                                11
THE TECH DIVIDE

There are not enough professionals in the field of digitisation
in my country.
To what extent do you agree with this statement?

CHN                                               53                                                                27                                   19                1
GER                                              52                                                           23                               15                          11
IND                                        44                                                      22                                          33                          2
BGR                                    40                                                  23                                             33                               5
IT                                   36                                                       33                                           24                              7
ESP                               33                                                     34                                               24                               10
UK                               32                                                 31                                           23                                        15
USA                              32                                              27                                             31                                         11
SWE                             31                                           24                                     24                                                     21

Digitisation and future technologies lead to high pressure on
companies to change in order to keep up with international
competitors.
To what extent do you agree with this statement?

SWE                                                                    77                                                                           13         4           6
GER                                                               72                                                                           18              7           4
IND                                                               72                                                                           18                  9       1
CHN                                                             70                                                                         22                      7       1
UK                                                           66                                                                       24                       6           5
USA                                                         65                                                                        23                       8           3
BGR                                                         65                                                                       22                       12           2
ESP                                                    59                                                                     28                              10           3
IT                                                    57                                                                    29                                11           3

             Fully / tend to agree                           Neither agree                                    Tend to disagree /                              Don’t know
                                                             nor disagree                                     do not agree at all

Fig. 3 and 4: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percent.

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THE TECH DIVIDE

lack professionals. However, according to our Swedish                                          such as engineering, technical implementation or pro-
experts, Sweden is also facing a lack of professionals in                                      gramming, are also generally lacking.
the field of digitisation ‑ this contradicts the perceptions of
respondents.                                                                                     Across markets, the causes of the lack of specialists
                                                                                               are primarily threefold, but differ by region: lack of quality
The missing skills and types                                                                   education, brain drain and the impact of the gender gap

of professions needed vary                                                                     on the labour market.

between industrialised and                                                                        In terms of the IT brain drain, Bulgaria appears to be

emerging economies.                                                                            somewhat of an exception in Europe. During communist
                                                                                               times, Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest country by
                                                                                               GDP per capita1, developed a high level of maths and
A lack of entrepreneurial spirit is hampering Asian digital                                    science education. While part of the Soviet Bloc, Bulgaria
markets. Experts emphasise that, in theory, there is a high                                    worked towards becoming a centre for IT hardware. In re-
level of entrepreneurial execution by Chinese and Indian                                       cent years, Bulgaria has become a European destination
professionals, but a clear lack of innovativeness. In Euro-                                    for outsourcing IT services. While the country is struggling
pe, on the other hand, there is great need of professionals                                    with emigration and brain drain, there appears to be a
who are able to see the ‘big picture’: strategists, data                                       trend of IT professionals returning to Bulgaria. In 2017,
scientists and visionaries are absent. Furthermore, there
is a strong need for professionals who are on the cutting
                                                                                               1 Volume indices of GDP per capita, 2017 (EU-28=100) https://ec.europa.eu/
edge of current trends, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI)                                   eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/GDP_per_capita,_consumption_per_capi-
or machine learning. Professions which require hard skills,                                    ta_and_price_level_indices . Date accessed: 26. 10. 2018.

Digital progress in companies
How much do you agree with the following statements?

My colleagues are open to                                    My employer gives me the                       My company is very advanced                My employer relies too
new technologies.                                            opportunity to continue my                     in terms of digitisation […].              quickly on the use of new
                                                             education […] in digitisation                                                             technologies.
                                                             […].

IND                                       67                                             59                                    51                                          51
CHN                                        71                               36                                       29                                 12
USA                               55                                       32                                   20                           -6
ESP                        42                         -1                                                       1                                  -1
GER                   35                                       9                                               2                            -27
BGR         17                                                         3                               -1                                    -7
SWE                     37                                         4                                   -2                           -37
UK                    34                                           1                            -9                                    -32
IT          17                                      -5                                             -6                                       -26

                                                                                                                                                                advanced
                                                                                                                                                                not advanced
Fig. 5: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Top2 vs. Bottom2. Figures in percent.

                                                                                                                                                                                13
THE TECH DIVIDE

     “Despite the emigration
     from Bulgaria, emigration by those in the IT sector is low. There is a stable
     tendency of people training abroad and returning to do business in Bulgaria
     and live here.”

     GOVERNMENT EXPERT, HEALTH LEGAL EXPERT, BULGARIA

Bulgaria’s unemployment rate was on par with Sweden’s                                  high pressure on companies to change and keep up with
(6.7 %). The greater pressure to find skilled labour on the                            international competitors (Fig. 4).
market may have contributed to a rise in wages. This ma-
kes it more attractive to return, or stay, in Bulgaria in the IT                          The agreement level varies widely among European
industry: the sector’s wages now allow for a relatively high                           countries. Interestingly, Sweden (77%), a country with a
standard of living.                                                                    very high level of digitisation, also has the highest level of
                                                                                       agreement, followed by Germany (72%). Spain (59%) and
   Particularly in the Western world, the lack of professio-                           Italy (57%) have the lowest level of agreement with this
nals in the tech industry might be partially explained by                              statement. India (72%) and China (70%) also see the need
the underrepresentation of females in that sector. Women                               for companies to stay competitive by adapting to new
are much less positive about digitisation compared to                                  technologies.
their male counterparts.2 Reasons for this start with early
education, continue with the choice of university degree                                 Overall, Sweden, Germany and Asia are most cognisant
and result in underrepresentation in the labour market.3 In                            of the pressure on companies to change. The mix of these
Germany, for example, only 17% of graduates in computer                                markets shows that the pressure for change is indepen-
science were female in 2012 4 and women overall hardly                                 dent of the level of digitisation.
choose STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Enginee-
ring and Mathematics).5                                                                European companies are
Digitisation leads to high                                                             percieved as not advanced in
pressure on companies to                                                               terms of digitisation.
change.                                                                                When it comes to the progress of digitisation in compa-
                                                                                       nies, a gap between Europe on the one side and the US
Digitisation is changing the labour market worldwide.                                  and Asia on the other arises (Fig. 5). Companies in Europe
Across all countries, respondents say that digitisation and                            are not considered as advanced in terms of digitisation
future technologies have led and will continue to lead to                              and the use of new technologies. At the same time, Euro-
                                                                                       pean employers do not provide enough opportunities to
2 https://www.vodafone-institut.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/The-Tech-                continue education and acquire skills in digitisation and
  Divide-People-and-Society.pdf , p. 17. Date accessed: 26.10.2018.                    new technologies. However, respondents consider the
3 For more information, refer to the percentage of female employees at major tech      openness of their colleagues towards new technologies to
  companies: “The Tech world is still a man’s world”, https://www.statista.com/
  chart/4467/female-employees-at-tech-companies/. Date accessed: 26.10.2018.           be at a high level in all countries.
4 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002354/235406e.pdf, Date accessed:
  26.10.2018.                                                                            Respondents from Asia and the US view their own cor-
5 For more on this, refer to our first report ‚The Tech Divide‘, covering People and
  Society. https://www.vodafone-institut.de/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/The_            porate cultures as more progressive. In these countries,
  Tech_Divide_People_and_Society.pdf. Date accessed; 31.10.2018.                       opportunities for further skills trainings in digitisation are

14
THE TECH DIVIDE

   “In one way,
   there is optimism about the future, and in another way, it
   feels like life is changing too fast. I am not able to stay alive
   with my survival skills.”

   INDUSTRY EXPERT, STRATEGIC PLANNER, CHINA

provided. Furthermore, companies are rated as digitally            are not linked to current unemployment rates (Fig. 7). For
advanced.                                                          example, the UK, the US and Germany most agree that di-
                                                                   gitisation and future technology will lead to job losses, but
  However, Asian respondents say that companies in their           the unemployment rates in these countries are under 5%.
countries rely too quickly on the use of new technologies.
Bearing in mind that our sample includes the connected             Fear of becoming obsolete is
and digitally savvy populations of China and India, this
assessment indicates the extent to which change is hap-            driven by age: elderly respon-
pening. It may even signify the first cautious reservations,       dents in the US and Europe
since those who fail to adapt at the necessary speed are
in danger of becoming obsolete in the labour market.               are most worried about job
                                                                   losses.
Digitisation and future
technologies are expected                                          In Europe and the US, attitudes towards digitisation and
                                                                   job losses differ by age (Fig. 8). Elderly respondents
to lead to job losses.                                             agree the most with the statement ‘Digitisation and future
                                                                   technologies lead to job losses’. In Bulgaria and Asia
Across all countries, six out of ten respondents say that          these differences do not exist. The digital literacy gap has
digitisation and future technologies lead to job losses (Fig.      led the elderly population to perceive new technologies
6). This uncertainty in terms of the labour market is parti-       and digitisation as generally more threatening. In Asia,
cularly severe in the UK, where seven out of ten respon-           the difference might be related to the fact that the cut-off
dents agree with the statement. Even in the US (66%) and           point for our sample was 50 years of age and respondents
Germany (65%), there are strong fears about the possibi-           lacked empathy for the older segment of the population.
lity of losing a job. In contrast, the lowest fear of job losses
is in China (45%). However, recent economic experience             Education is not seen as a
has shown Chinese workers to be extremely adaptive. As
a result, while job losses are perceived as a threat, this is      guard against job losses.
accompanied by an expectation that new jobs will also be
created in the future.                                             Highly educated respondents also fear job losses. In Fig.
                                                                   9, we see that the fear of job losses is above 50% across
   Especially in the UK and US, this topic is highly salient       all educational levels. The assumption that highly educa-
and heavily discussed in media. A general fear of job loss         ted respondents might have less fear of losing their jobs is
is paired with evidence from daily life, where staff reducti-      not entirely supported. Respondents with lower education
ons following automation are visible.                              levels are more afraid of job loss, but the difference is less
                                                                   striking than one might expect.
  However, fears about the future of the labour market

                                                                                                                               15
THE TECH DIVIDE

Digitisation and future technologies lead to job losses.
To what extent do you agree with this statement?

                                                                                                                                                    Fully / tend
                                                                                                                                                    to agree
        9                                                                    12
              3                                                                     2                                                               Neither agree
                                                                                                                                                    nor disagree
 18                                                                    21
                                                                                                                                                    Tend to disagree
                                                                                                                                                     / do not agree
                       70                                                                                                                           at all
                                                                                            66
                                                                                                                                                    Don’t know
 .

             UK                                                                    USA

                                    14                                                                      12
                                            1                                                                     2
                                                                                                     25
                               24
                                                     61                                                                        61

                                         Bulgaria                                                              Spain
        Sweden

     12                                                                      14                                                          12
              5                                                                     2                                                         3
                                                                                                                                    20
22                      61                                             29                      56
                                                                                                                                                    65

            Sweden                                                                 Italy                                                  Germany

                                    17                                                                    23
                                            1                                                                     1
                                                       59                                                                      45
                               23
                                                                                                          32

                                          India                                                                  China

Fig. 6: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percent.

16
THE TECH DIVIDE

    “Your sense of
    insecurity is that either you learn it and enhance your
    competitiveness, or you will be quickly replaced.”

    GOVERNANCE EXPERT, CONSULTANT E-GOVERNANCE, CHINA

Unemployment rate in percent

                                                                                                                                    4

                        3                                                  4                                                       China

                       India
                                                                                                         4
                                                                       Germany

                                                                                                                                                          11
                                                 4                                                      UK

            7                                  USA
                                                                                                                                                          Italy

        Sweden                                                                                                17
    < 5%
    5 – 10%                                              6
    > 10%

                                                      Bulgaria                                               Spain

Fig. 7: Percentage of total labour force. State 2012 (IND). State 2014 (CHN). State 2017 (GER, UK, USA, BGR, SWE, IT, ESP). Source: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/
SL.UEM.TOTL.NE.ZS?end=2017&locations=AL-CN-DZ-US&name_desc=true&start=1992

                                                                                                                                                                            17
THE TECH DIVIDE

Fear of job losses increases with age.

                          82                                       82
                                                                                                         79
                     74                                      73
67           68                                                                                70 71
       64                                       65 63
                                         56                                       56 55

                                                                                                                                                                   73
                                                                                                                                                              67
                                                                                                                                               60
                                                                                                                            56         57

              UK                                      USA                                   Germany

                          68                                       71
                     65                               64
                                                61           61                                       62 60
59 57 60
                                                                                  55           55
                                         52
                                                                                        49                                                     Total

                                                                                                                              18 to 29 years
                                                                                                                              30 to 39 years
                                                                                                                              40 to 49 years
                                                                                                                              50 to 59 years
                                                                                                                              60 to 69 years

            Sweden                                   Spain                                    Italy

Fig. 8: Top2 values. Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all. Figures in percentage.

Fear of job losses is most significant for people with lower levels of education.

            65                                                                     63                                                                  56

            Low                                                                  Medium                                                                High

Fig. 9: Top2 values. Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all. Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percentage.

18
“We have already
                                         THE TECH DIVIDE

 seen industries that
 have been completely
 obliterated and
 automated. Especially
 in places in the south
 and the north-east.”
INDUSTRY EXPERT, DIGITAL STRATEGY, USA

                                                      19
THE TECH DIVIDE

Concerns of employees
Which of the following statements do you most agree with? I am concerned that …

... I could lose my job due to lack                                         ... I could lose my job due to the
of digital skills.                                                          low level of digitisation in my
                                                                            company.

                                                                      16

                                                                10                                                                 9     10
            7         8
     6                           4       4                6                    6        5         5              4           5
                                                  2                                                         3          3
  ESP       IT       BGR         UK    GER       SWE      USA   IND   CHN     ESP       IT      BGR        UK    GER   SWE   USA   IND   CHN

... my job will be replaced by
new technologies.

                                                                            ... my employer could outsource
                                                                      24
  23                                                                        my job activity and I will have to
                                                                21          be self-employed in the future.
                                                                                                                                   20
            15                                                                                                                           14
                     11          10     10                10                                     10
                                                  8                            8         7                                   8
                                                                                                            6    5      4
  ESP       IT       BGR         UK    GER       SWE      USA   IND   CHN     ESP       IT       BGR       UK    GER   SWE   USA   IND   CHN

                                                                            I am not afraid of losing my job.

                                                                                                 50
                                                                                                                 48    49

                                                                                                           37

                                                                                                                                         29
                                                                                                                             27    26
                                                                              24       24

                                                                              ESP       IT      BGR        UK    GER   SWE   USA   IND   CHN

Fig. 10: Single answer question. Figures in percentage.

20
THE TECH DIVIDE

Substituted by technology:                                        the US, India, Spain and Italy, fears are stronger, with the
fear of losing jobs mainly                                        percentage of confident respondents falling between only
                                                                  24% and 30%.
stems from the potential for
replacement by new techno-                                        Digital training hardly occurs
logies.                                                           during working hours, but
                                                                  more often in free time.
Among the reasons why respondents fear losing their
jobs, the primary one is replacement by new technologies          Trainings in free time
(e.g., robots, algorithms) (Fig. 10). This concern is most
widespread in Asia and Spain. In India and China, where           More than six out of ten respondents use free time to
a great proportion of IT jobs can be found in call centres        develop their own digital skills (Fig. 11). Especially in Asia
and software testing, the fear of job loss due to automation      and Bulgaria, many report using free time for self-develop-
is extremely high. As highlighted earlier, this individual fear   ment. About nine out of ten are willing to develop digital
about one’s own job is coupled with an overall awareness          skills in their free time. In India, digital education is seen
raised by the media that digitisation also creates new jobs.      as a means to demonstrate one’s own capabilities as a
                                                                  matter of distinction and belonging to society. In China,
  A lack of digital skills and a low level of digitisation in     developing digital skills is mandatory to maintain one’s
companies are also reasons some fear replacement, but             own human capital and stay competitive for the future.
to a lesser extent. The outsourcing of jobs is also a cause       In China in particular, the middle class is defined by an
of concern, which is most pronounced in Asia.. Especially         insecurity that they will no longer be needed.
in Asian countries, overdependence on foreign, e.g., US
or European companies poses a risk, since tasks which               However, Bulgaria and India are cases where poor
once were outsourced to India or China, could be moved            quality public education in digital skills makes it necessary
to cheaper locations.                                             to develop those skills in one’s free time. Digital skill de-
                                                                  velopment can vary significantly. In newer digital markets,
  However, these fears are not universal. Across all              development of digital competencies may be as simple as
countries, one apparent trend is that most respondents            knowing how to use basic software applications.
are not worried about losing their jobs. Respondents in
Germany, Sweden and Bulgaria are particularly confident             India’s government under Narendra Modi has begun to
(49%, 49% and 50%, respectively) in this regard. In China,        recognise the need to step up its game in digital training

   “Because we are
   not building skills at school or college, companies are forced to do it on the
   job. When you are working in the corporate sector, your work is entirely in
   the cloud. You have to learn technology. If schools and colleges have not
   taught you anything beyond Microsoft and whatever internet you use for
   consumption, they have to spend money and resources to train people.”

   SOCIETY EXPERT, COMMUNICATIONS & MEDIA, INDIA

                                                                                                                              21
THE TECH DIVIDE

Hunger for education in Asia
Free time: More than half of respondents spend up to five
hours or more per week on developing digital skills.

                                                                                                                Would you use your free time to
CHN                  24                                  53                                  14         5 4
                                                                                                                develop your own digital skills, and,
IND                 22                              48                                  22              4 4     if yes, how much time would you
                                                                                                                spend doing it?
BGR                 19                           48                                    23              5 5
IT             13                        40                              27                 8          13
ESP            11                        41                             25              8              16
USA            13                        35                        24                  13              16
GER        6                    35                            31                        16              12
UK         8                   29                        29                       17               17
SWE        6               26                       29                            22                 17

               More than 5 hours               Up to 5 hours per                   Up to 1 hour per              I would not get trai-    Don’t know / No
               per week                        week                                week                          ning in digital skills   response given

Fig. 11a: Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percentage.

Working hours: Only about 1/3 of respondents receive
more than one hour per week for further training from their employers.

     IND             22                        37                             24                  11        7   How much time does your employer
                                                                                                                give you during your working hours
 CHN                 23                         40                           13              18             7
                                                                                                                to develop your digital skills? Please
 USA           10               27                  16                   27                        20           consider time spent on training as well
                                                                                                                as individual development.
 BGR           11              20              21                            33                        15
 DEU       6              19              18                        38                             19
     ESP   6              20              16                       37                             22
     ITA   7              18              16                       40                              19
 SWE       4        11              20                        40                                25
 GBR       5        12              16                        48                                   19

               More than 5 hours               Up to 5 hours per                   Up to 1 hour per              My employer does         Don’t know / No
               per week                        week                                week                          not give me time to      response given
                                                                                                                 develop my digital
                                                                                                                 skills
Fig. 11b: Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percentage.

22
THE TECH DIVIDE

and launched an online learning platform in 2016, SWAY-                                      Trainings during working hours
AM (Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring
Minds).6 The government’s declared goal is ‘to bridge                                        Compared to trainings during free time, the investment of
the digital divide for students who have hitherto remained                                   time in digital trainings during working hours is significantly
untouched by the digital revolution and have not been                                        lower (Fig. 11).
able to join the mainstream of the knowledge economy.’
Given Indians’ high willingness for personal development,                                      Chinese and Indian employers offer the most time for
it would seem these efforts will be fruitful.                                                development of digital skills compared to other countries.
                                                                                             More than three out of four receive the opportunity to de-
  Citizens in the UK and Sweden show the lowest willing-                                     velop their digital skills during working hours. With regard
ness to develop digital skills during free time. Neverthe-                                   to training in spare time, the level of digital skills differs
less, the perceived need for digital training appears to                                     strongly across markets. In the US, about every second
be high across countries. More than 1/3 of respondents                                       respondent gets trainings to develop digital skills.
spends at least one hour per week on developing digital
skills.                                                                                        The lowest values occur in Sweden and UK: about 1/3
                                                                                             of respondents have digital training during working hours.
6 https://swayam.gov.in . Date accessed: 26.10. 2018.
                                                                                             In Europe, at least every third employee is not given digital
                                                                                             skills training during working hours.

Changes in working life
The next section deals with possible changes in working life.
How likely do you think the following individual scenarios are?

                                                 55
  49                                                      50                                   49        46
            43                                                      44                                              45
                      40                                                                                                      Positive impact

                                                                                                                                 Digitisation and the
                                                                                                                                 use of new techno-
                                                                                                                                 logies will create new
            Italy                                      Germany                                          Spain                    types of jobs.

                                                                                                                                 Most people will
                                                                                                                                 no longer work in
                                                                                                                                 offices, but from
                                                                                               66                                home.

  56
                                                 51                                                                              Robots are increa-
            43                                                                                           44                      singly taking over
                                                                                                                                 tasks at work. As a
                      34                                   35       32                                                           result of this reduc-
                                                                                                                    29           tion in workload,
                                                                                                                                 people will have
                                                                                                                                 more free time in the
                                                                                                                                 future.
            UK                                          Bulgaria                                       Sweden

                                                                                                                              Negative impact
                                                 75
  64        63                                             65       64                                                           Unemployment will
                                                                                                                                 increase as people
                      54                                                                       50                                are being increa-
                                                                                                         48         47           singly replaced by
                                                                                                                                 machines.

                                                                                                                                 New technologies ac-
                                                                                                                                 celerate processes,
           India                                         China                                         USA                       and this will cause
                                                                                                                                 people to suffer more
Fig. 12: Top 3 Answers. Scale from 1 ‘very likely’ to 5 ‘very unlikely’. Top2 vs. Bottom2. Figures in percentage.                from stress.

                                                                                                                                                             23
THE TECH DIVIDE

                  “I do not need to plan
                   my commute around
                  the high-density grid
                   of the city and plan
                   my life around that.
                   I do not need to.”
                  INDUSTRY EXPERT, STRATEGIC PLANNER, CHINA

24
THE TECH DIVIDE

  This indicates that the awareness of a digital future is     impacts within the top three answers, such as the creation
not yet high in all countries or across all types of profes-   of new jobs, working at home instead of in the office or
sions. Sweden might be an exception. As an (actual)            the increasing amount of free time because of the use of
and self-perceived leader of digitisation in Europe, there     robots. For them, digitisation is still associated with many
seems to be far less of an immediate need for digital trai-    benefits rather than threats.
nings for employees. However, on a broader level, it appe-
ars that only a minority of companies and institutions have      In Europe and the US, the perspective is different. In
a designated strategy which includes digital trainings, and    countries like the UK, the US and Italy, a conflict exists
this is reflected in the numbers.                              between the creation of new jobs on the one side and
                                                               the increase in unemployment due to replacement by
In Asia, digitisation is seen as                               machines on the other. Respondents from the UK and US

an opportunity for the ‘Future                                 assume that job losses are more likely than the creation of
                                                               new jobs. In Germany, Spain, Sweden and Bulgaria, re-
of Work’.                                                      spondents expect that people will suffer more from stress
                                                               because new technologies are perceived to accelerate
When looking at the general positive attitude towards digi-    processes.
tisation and the economic upturn digitisation has already
brought India and China, it is not surprising that they are       Overall, Germany, Spain and Sweden show more nega-
more positive about changes in working life as a result of     tive responses in their top three than other countries. This
digitisation than people from Europe or the US (Fig. 12).      indicates that digitisation for them means more threats
Indians, as well as the Chinese, mention only positive         than benefits, especially in the context of labour.

       Key Takeaways

  Effects of digitisation on
  the labour market
  In most of the countries, there are not enough               people in particular are worried about about a nega-
  professionals in the field of digitisation. However,         tive impact.
  this does not match the perception of respondents,
  highlighting that knowledge regarding digital pro-             The perception of changes in working life as a
  fessions is low and mostly based on media cover-             result of digitisation differ regionally. While respon-
  age.                                                         dents from Asia think that changes will be mostly
                                                               positive, respondents from Europe and the US are
    When talking about digital progress, companies             more sceptical. Asian respondents may already
  from Asia and the US are perceived as the most               have first-hand experiences that digitisation creates
  advanced. European companies are lagging behind.             new jobs, thus leading to a more positive outlook.

    One of the main concerns is that digitisation and
  future technologies will lead to job losses. Elderly

                                                                                                                         25
THE TECH DIVIDE

Effects of
digitisation on
educational
needs

26
THE TECH DIVIDE

  “The mentality is
   [...] that once you finish school you just have to sit and
  wait for something to happen. They really need to un-
  derstand how things work or they will never get out of
  this loop of intellectual decline.”

  GOVERNMENT EXPERT, CONSULTANT, ITALY

                                  “In Germany,
                                  we experienced some extreme structural transformati-
                                  ons. After the fall of the Berlin wall, some degrees beca-
                                  me worthless. For a long time, the onus of unemploy-
                                  ment has been thrown onto the employees, who must
                                  adapt themselves to the labour market.”

                                  GOVERNMENT EXPERT, SOCIAL SCIENTIST, GERMANY

In this section, we look at educational needs. Our re-         New digital skills and lifelong
search confirms that major transformations in education
are necessary in order to make people more resilient in a      learning are needed in each
changing labour market where new skills sets are requi-        country.
red. Most respondents also agree that a skilled work force
is a corner stone for their country’s competitiveness. It is   Digitisation leads to changes in education. When looking
noteworthy that respondents have a holistic understan-         at the perception of increasing and different educational
ding of education. First, in economies where technology        needs, participants in the majority of countries agree that
is continuously evolving, education is perceived to be         new digital skills and lifelong learning are necessary (Fig.
important throughout someone’s entire career. Second,          13). Especially in China (81%) the need for changes in
responsibility for human capital investment should be          the educational sector is clear, followed by India, Bulgaria
shared across public and private institutions. Companies       and Sweden. In contrast, Italy (55%) has the lowest agree-
and the government must provide opportunities for lifelong     ment ratings.
learning. Third, individuals are seen as being equally
responsible when it comes to acquiring new skill sets or
updating existing ones.

                                                                                                                         27
THE TECH DIVIDE

Lifelong learning is considered necessary.
Digitisation and future technologies lead to increased and different educational needs.
New digital skills and lifelong learning are needed. To what extent do you agree with this
statement?

                                                                                                                                                       Fully / tend
       7 5                                                                    8                                                                        to agree

          0                                                                        3                                                                   Neither agree
                                                                                                                                                       nor disagree
 24                                                                   22
                                                                                                                                                       Tend to disagree
                                                                                                                                                        / do not agree

                    65                                                                     67                                                          at all
                                                                                                                                                       Don’t know

             UK                                                                   USA

                                      9                                                                      8
                               17           1                                                                        3

                                                                                                     28
                                                                                                                            62
                                                  73

                                       Bulgaria                                                                  Spain

           6                                                                11                                                          8
       6
                                                                                   3                                                          4
 15                                                                                                                                19
                                                                      31
                                                                                            55
                    73                                                                                                                            69

           Sweden                                                                 Italy                                                     Germany

                                        8                                                                        4
                                                                                                        15
                               18           0                                                                    00

                                                   74                                                                    81

                                          India                                                                China

Fig. 13: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percentage.

28
THE TECH DIVIDE

   Italy’s case can be explained by two main factors. For           Older respondents in Sweden,
one, the idea that a person takes one job, ideally for life, is
still prevalent. Second, individual efforts in lifelong learning    Germany and Spain are more
are not met with sufficient merits or financial pay-offs from       aware that they need to mo-
society or employers. As a result, the awareness of lifelong
learning made necessary by digitisation has not yet taken           dernise their skill sets.
hold in Italian society.
                                                                    In Sweden, Germany and Spain attitudes towards chan-
  In China, lifelong learning is a concept that is already          ging educational needs because of digitisation differ by
embedded in society and working culture and which                   age (Fig. 14). Elderly participants tend to have higher
existed long before digitisation. It is based on competiti-         agreement ratings connecting the need for new digital
veness and a mindset of constant education, including in            skills and lifelong learning. This underscores why the
employment.                                                         attitudes of elderly respondents are more critical towards
                                                                    digitisation as it imposes requirements they might not be
   India has the second highest numbers. There, lifelong            able to fulfill.
learning is a relatively new concept, which has evolved
alongside digitisation, constant change and the introduc-
tion of new technologies. The fact that things have already         Companies should take re-
changed rapidly has instilled an awareness of the need
for constant learning: what was true five years ago is often        sponsibility for enabling life-
no longer true today. The SWAYAM initiative mentioned               long learning, more so than
earlier can be seen as the government’s attempt to encou-
rage an adaptive and curious mentality among Indians.               governments or individuals.
  When we look at other countries, especially Germany,              Differences arise among respondents regarding who they see
the UK, the US and Sweden, consciousness of lifelong                as most responsible for enabling lifelong learning (Fig. 15).
learning exists independently of digitisation, but is less
connected to the structural change of the labour market.               Three key stakeholders are responsible for providing
The concept of having one job for a lifetime is no longer           lifelong learning. In Italy and China, there is an equal distri-
valid and constant learning is required.                            bution between companies, governments and individuals,
                                                                    which indicates that no clear picture exists for respon-
  Furthermore, changes in daily life, such as coping                dents. A very different view emerges in the UK and India.
with new devices or simply using services which have                There, the government is seen as having the greatest
been digitised, have raised consciousness about lifelong            responsibility for providing lifelong learning. Self-directed
learning.                                                           trainings play the smallest role.

  In terms of who is supporting and promoting lifelong                 Companies are seen as most important in providing
learning, it is clear that interest is driven by different sides:   lifelong learning – in ranked order – in Sweden, Spain,
                                                                    Bulgaria, Germany and the US.
– On the one hand, employers are interested in
  having highly skilled employees and promote lifelong
  learning to stay competitive. The introduction of free            By comparison Germans are
  online courses, such as Massive Open Online Courses
  (MOOCs), contributes to this.                                     more confident about their
                                                                    digital skills.
– On the other hand, the tech industry and digital media
  have increased the need to develop digital skills to              The self-evaluation of digital skills differs widely bet-
  connect with people and participate in society.                   ween countries (Fig. 16). The majority in each country
                                                                    says that their digital skills must be expanded, which
                                                                    is in line with the percieved need for lifelong learning.

                                                                                                                                  29
THE TECH DIVIDE

The need for lifelong learning is usually valued more highly by older participants.

                               80       82
            73         74                                                                                75
                                                                             67                  67                                                              70       69
  63                                                               66
                                                                                       62                                                     62        60
                                                                                                                                     52

                      Sweden                                                           USA                                                             Spain

                                        84
                               78
                       67                                          69                            67      68                                                               69
            65                                                                         65
  58                                                                         56                                                                                  56
                                                                                                                                     52       51        53

                   Germany                                                             UK                                                              Italy

  83                   83                                                                                                                                         82
            75                                                             76        75
                                                                 72                                                                   70       69        72

           China                                                          India                                                                   Bulgaria

     18 to 29 years                      30 to 39 years                         40 to 49 years                      50 to 60 years

Fig. 14: Scale from 1 ‘fully agree’ to 5 ‘do not agree at all’. Figures in percentage. In India and China, maximum age of respondents is 50. You can find more information on the
complete design of the study in Part 1 “People and Society“.

30
THE TECH DIVIDE

Companies should play an important role in lifelong learning.
In your opinion, who is mainly responsible for the urgently required lifelong learning of skilled
workers in the age of digital change and the replacing of existing technologies?

                                                                                                                                     Companies
          11                                                                14
     6               25                                                                  26
                                                                                                                                     The goverment
                                                                   11
14
                                                                                                                                     Own further training
                                                                    13                    12                                         / education
     17              28
                                                                                 24                                                  Employees

               UK                                                                USA
                                                                                                                                     Universities

                                        8                                                               8                            None of the actors
                                12                  28                                         5                 29                  mentioned
                                                                                                        4
                              11
                                                    16                                         29
                                     25                                                                         24

                                        Bulgaria                                                        Spain

                                                                            11
          10                                                        9                    26                                    9
                                                                                                                           5             27
   13                                                              6
                       34                                                                                             12
 7
                                                                     24                  24
   13                                                                                                                  25                22
                24
                                                                                 Italy

          Sweden                                                                                                               Germany

                                   14              20                                               9           25
                                            3                                                  8            5
                              18
                                                    28                                         27               25
                                     17
                                          India                                                         China

Fig. 15: Figures may contain rounding differences. Figures in percentage.

                                                                                                                                                       31
THE TECH DIVIDE

     “Companies suffer
     from a lack of digitalisation competence in general, both in small
     and large companies. [...] We are creating training programs for
     small businesses. [...] There is a built-in fear among Swedes that
     primarily affects the public sector. You are not driven by change,
     and the risk of doing something new is big. They feel safer doing
     just as they have done all along.”

     SOCIETY EXPERT, COMMUNICATION SCIENTIST, SWEDEN

Especially in Bulgaria (70%) and China (78%), the number               to stay up to date and connected in today‘s societies.
of respondents who agree that they must advance their                  (Fig. 17). Social pressure, for instance, is one reason why
digital skills is highest, followed by India and Sweden                Sweden shows the highest ratings for self-teaching.
(both 61%).
                                                                         Furthermore, self-teaching is the most flexible way of
  Across all countries, less than 1/3 say that their digital           developing skills and usually occurs on-demand. India
skills are sufficient. In Germany (37%), the US (35%),                 and China, as Asian countries, have the lowest ratings in
the UK (34%) and India (33%) this proportion is highest                this regard (both 54%).
among the respondents.
                                                                         In China, high emphasis is placed on online courses
Respondents are digital                                                and certificates to demonstrate skills. This cannot be

autodidacts.                                                           achieved by self-teaching. 48% of the Chinese respon-
                                                                       dents report gaining digital skills through their job. This
                                                                       shows that employers in China are much more willing to
The meaning behind the term ‘digital skills’ is as broad as            provide digital training as a means to educating their staff
the possible definitions of digitisation. When talking about           and staying competitive as a company.
acquiring digital skills, the definition of the term ‘digital skill’
was based on respondents‘ own definitions. Therefore,                    For many countries, especially China and India, but also
when looking at the results, we refer to:                              the US, where university and secondary education are
                                                                       connected to high tuition fees, online courses are a cheap
1 Digital skills which are required in daily life, e.g., digital       alternative to gain digital knowledge.
  devices, online services, etc.
                                                                          In Asia, a variety of different educational opportunities
2 Digital skills which are required in professional life, e.g.,        for acquiring digital skills are utilized, and, as a result,
  software skills, programming skills etc.                             these countries differ from the rest of the sample. Family,
                                                                       friends, work, study and online courses are much more a
  When including both types of definitions, the high                   part of the acquisition process than elsewhere.
number of respondents who are self-taught indicates that
developing digital skills is necessary, enabling individuals

32
THE TECH DIVIDE

“Motivation is driven by curiosity.
 Mentality. A desire to show that you
 can do it and be a part of the group.
 […] There is a fear of showing that
you are not able to do something,
 and this fear acts as a motivator.”
SOCIETY EXPERT, COMMUNICATION SCIENTIST, SWEDEN

                                                               33
THE TECH DIVIDE

Current levels of digital skills
need to be expanded.                                                                    42
Do you believe that your digital skills will be                                                 34
sufficient for your profession in the future or
will you need to expand them?                                                                        15
                                                                                                UK

                                                 78

                                                                  61

  42
            35                                                         33

                                                      17      3                3
                      13
            USA                                       China            India

     “The better
     the education system and general digital liter-
     acy, the less hours are needed for self-study.”

     GOVERNMENT EXPERT, HEALTH LEGAL EXPERT, BULGARIA

                                                                                   51

                                                                                        30

                                                                                                11
                                                                                        Spain
     My digital skills need expanding.

     My digital skills are sufficient.

     I don’t need digital skills to do my job.

Fig. 16: Figures in percentage.

34
THE TECH DIVIDE

                            61

                                      23   6

                                  Sweden

43
       37

               12
     Germany

                                               70

               53

                    29
                                                      21       6
                                 11
                    Italy                           Bulgaria

                                                                   35
“The explanation for using
THE TECH DIVIDE

 a variety of different
 educational opportunities
 lies within our communist
 ideology. With a centralized
 government, you will
 definitely teach, based on
 one unified system and
 ideology. It is focused on
traditional education and
 does not have the foresight
to teach something so
 advanced as digital skills.”
INDUSTRY EXPERT, STRATEGIC PLANNER, CHINA

36
THE TECH DIVIDE

How did you acquire your digital skills?
 I taught myself                   With help from friends / family              By doing an online course

 Through my job                    During my studies /
                                   my apprenticeship / training                                                                37

   4
                                                                                                                                                   36
                     7                                                 10                                                      45
  32
                              5
                                                                       40                  7
                     27                           12
                                                                                                                                                   32
                                                                                                             4
  37                          22                  21                                      34                                   47
                     34                                                                                     23
                              30                  36                   26                                                                          28
  39                                                                                      27                27
                     33                                                41                                                                          48
                              30                                                                                               45
                                                  24
                                                                                          23                24
  77
                     71       69                  69                   64                 62                61
                                                                                                                               54                  54

 Sweden            Germany    UK                  USA                Bulgaria            Spain              Italy              India              China

                                                                                                              Fig. 17: Top 5 Answers, Figures in percentage.

       Key Takeaways

 Effects of digitisation on
 educational needs
 Digitisation and future technologies lead to increa-                       be expanded to keep up with new requirements in
 sed and different educational needs. Across all                            the labour market, as well as daily life.
 countries, respondents say that new digital skills
 and lifelong learning are crucial. Consciousness of                          The acquisition of digital skills is dominated
 the need for life-long learning can develop through                        by self-learning. Asians use a variety of different
 cultural factors, structural changes or digitisation                       educational opportunities for acquiring digital skills.
 itself.                                                                    This is related to the lack of formal digital education
                                                                            and the high cost of traditional education vs. online
   Most respondents, across countries, are aware                            courses.
 that their digital skills are not sufficient and need to

                                                                                                                                                          37
THE TECH DIVIDE

Study Design
Quantitative research                                         tion according to the most recent country census data.
                                                              However, in emerging markets, such as India and China,
Ipsos conducted quantitative research of 9,005 adults         Internet penetration is lower. The results should therefore
aged 18-65 (in Bulgaria 18-60, in India and China 18-50)      be viewed as representative of a more urban, affluent and
between June 6th and June 26th 2018. The survey across        ‘connected’ population.
9 countries was conducted online using the Ipsos Online
Panel System.                                                   Looking at the distribution of education and age groups,
                                                              there are important differences in the samples of India and
  When selecting countries within Europe, a variety of dif-   China. In these countries, the maximum age of respon-
ferent economic and digitisation levels were considered.      dents is 50 and the education distribution is characterised
Fast developing markets, such as India and China, were        by highly educated respondents. The higher proportion of
included as well. The USA was included in the sample          younger and highly educated respondents may have had
because it is characterised by strengths in innovation.       an influence on the survey results. Furthermore, because
                                                              of the lower level of Internet penetration, respondents
  In established markets with a high level of Internet        tended to be from urban regions (bigger cities).
penetration (more than 60% online), the results can be
understood as representative of the general working age         In China, it was not possible to include questions pertai-
population. The results are weighted to ensure that the       ning to the government in the survey.
sample’s composition reflects that of the adult popula-

                   Bulgaria:                                  China:                                      Germany:
                   n=1,000                                    n=1,002                                     n=1,001

                   Spain:                                     Sweden:                                     UK:
                   n=1,000                                    n=1,000                                     n=1,000

                   India:                                     USA:                                        Italy:
                   n=1,002                                    n=1,000                                     n=1,000

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Demographic sample structures of India and China

                                                                                                              8
                                                                                                          0
        51   Gender    49                                                                        Education
                                                                                                                           High
                               Male                                                                                        Medium
                                                                                                 91
India                          Female                                                                                      Low
                                                41     Age
                                                             59
                                                                        35 to 50 years
                                                                        18 to 35 years

                                                                                                                                 23
                                                                                                                       1
                      51    Gender      49                                                                         Education

                                                                                                                  76
                                                             34                37
         China
                                                                   Age
                                                                                         40 to 50 years
                                                                                         30 to 39 years
                                                                   30                    18 to 29 years

Qualitative research                                         careers. All of the experts are characterised by a broad
                                                             as well as more specific understanding of digitisation,
Ipsos identified and recruited n=5 experts from the same     depending on their professional background and position.
markets covered by the quantitative study (except Spain)     The expert interviews, each lasting about 60 minutes, were
to discuss the quantitative results and achieve a thorough   conducted by telephone or in person between September
understanding of the cultural context relevant to each       4th and October 5th 2018. Market research codex ensu-
country, thus informing the quantitative findings.           res the anonymity of respondents, including experts, for
                                                             reasons of privacy. Furthermore, the anonymity of respon-
  The experts were defined by a relevant background in       dents enabled them to voice their opinions freely without
social science, communication, or economic science and       reservations.
have dealt with digitisation throughout their professional

                                                                                                                                      39
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